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Pinus armandii

Pinus armandii
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Product Information

Scientific name: Pinus armandii  Franchet  1884

Synonyms: Pinus armandii var. armandii, Pinus armandii var. farjonii Silba, Pinus armandii subsp. farjonii (Silba) Silba, Pinus armandii subsp. yuana Silba, Pinus excelsa var. chinensis Patschke, Pinus levis Lemée & H.Lév., Pinus scipioniformis Mast.

Infraspecific taxa: Pinus armandii var. dabeshanensis (W.C.Cheng & Y.W.Law) Silba  1990, Pinus armandii var. mastersiana (Hayata) Hayata  1908         

Common names: Armand pine, Armand's pine, Chinese white pine, David's pine (English), Hua shan song (Chinese)



Tree to 25(-50) m tall, with trunk to 1(-2) m in diameter. Bark dark grayish brown, flaking and ultimately breaking up into small, square blocks at the base of large trees. Crown cylindrical, rather open, with widely spaced tiers of long, thin, horizontal branches bearing foliage only near their ends. Twigs grayish green to light grayish brown, hairless to transiently hairy. Buds about 7-10 mm long, slightly resinous. Needles in bundles of five (to seven), each needle (3-)6-15(-18) cm long, thin, flexible, and often drooping, with a kink near the base, lasting 2-3 years, dark green. Individual needles without stomates on the outer face, whitish green with wax over the stomates on the inner faces, with an undivided midvein, two small resin canals beneath the outer face either touching the epidermis or completely within the leaf tissue, usually with a third resin canal inside the leaf tissue near the corner between the two inner faces, and rarely with up to four additional resin canals scattered within the leaf tissue beneath any or all of the faces. Sheath 2-7 mm long, soon shed. Pollen cones 15-30 mm long, pale green with a reddish blush. Seed cones (5-)6-16(-20) cm long, egg- to elongate-shaped, with 70-100 scales, green or purple and sometimes a little waxy before maturity, ripening yellowish brown or reddish brown, gaping and releasing the seeds at maturity, on a stalk (1-)2-4 cm long. Seed scales angularly egg-shaped, thick and a little fleshy, particularly around the seeds, the diamond-shaped or triangular tip tapering from the thickest point to a diamond-shaped or triangular umbo that is straight to curled back. Seed body 8-15 mm long, plump, wingless or with a short, firmly attached wing 1-4(-7) mm long.

The species name honors Père Armand David (1826-1900), a French missionary and naturalist in southwestern China who collected the type specimen in Yunnan but is most famous, perhaps, for Père David’s deer.

Southern Japan, central and southern China. Usually mixed with other conifers and hardwoods on rocky slopes; (900-)1,000-2,500(-3,500) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern

Despite the threatened status of two of its two varieties the species as a whole remains Least Concern because these two varieties occupy only tiny sections of the total distribution and population.

Pinus armandii occurs in mountains at altitudes from 900 m to 3,500 m a.s.l.; usually in association with other conifers and seldom in pure stands. Common conifer genera in these mixed forests are Abies, Picea, Pseudotsuga, and in SW China also Larix. More often than these conifers, the pines tend to occupy rocky areas with thin soils where other trees, among them angiosperms, are less competitive.

Logging for local use could have impacted this common and widespread species. A governmental ban on logging in China probably has little impact, as this is not a commercial timber tree. The threat is therefore thought to be insubstantial.

This pine is a notable ornamental tree in China and it was introduced to France by Armand David in 1895. It remains an uncommon tree in gardens and parks outside China, but has spread to arboreta in many parts of the world. As a timber tree it is of limited value and exploited only for local use.

This species is present in some protected areas.



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodePIN2JMH481
Weight3 kg
Height30 - 50 cm

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